Liu Z, Zheng B, Zhang Q, Guan D. New dynamics of energy use and CO2 emissions in China. Nature. Submitted.Abstract

Global achievement of climate change mitigation will heavy reply on how much of CO2 emission has and will be released by China. After rapid growth of emissions during last decades, China’s CO2 emissions declined since 20141 that driven by decreased coal consumption, suggesting a possible peak of China’s coal consumption and CO2 emissions2. Here, by combining a updated methodology and underlying data from different sources, we reported the soaring 5.5%  (range: +2.5% to +8.5%  for one sigma) increase of China’s CO2 emissions in 2018 compared to 2017, suggesting China’s CO2 is not yet to peak and leaving a big uncertain to whether China’s emission will continue to rise in the future. Although our best estimate of total emission (9.9Gt CO2 in 2018) is lower than international agencies3-6 in the same year, the results show robust on a record-high energy consumption and total CO2 emission in 2018. During 2014-2016, China’s energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of GDP) and total CO2 emissions has decreased driven by energy and economic structure optimization. However, the decrease in emissions is now offset by stimulates of heavy industry production under economic downturn that driving coal consumption (+5% in 2018), as well as the surging of natural gas consumption (+18% in 2018) due to the government led “coal-to-gas” energy transition to reduce local air pollutions. Timing policy and actions are urgent needed to address on these new drivers to turn down the total emission growth trend.

Liu Z, Deng Z, Ciais P, Lei R, Davis SJ, Feng S, Wang Y, Yue X, Lei Y, Zhou H, et al. COVID-19 causes record decline in global CO2 emissions. arXiv:2004.13614 [Internet]. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The unprecedented cessation of human activities during the COVID-19 pandemic has affected global energy use and CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production. Here we show that the decrease in global fossil CO2 emissions during the first quarter of 2020 was of 5.8% (542 Mt CO2 with a 20% 1-{\sigma} uncertainty). Unlike other emerging estimates, ours show the temporal dynamics of emissions based on actual emissions data from power generation (for 29 countries) and industry (for 73 countries), on near real time activity data for road transportation (for 132 countries), aviation and maritime transportation, and on heating degree days for commercial and residential sectors emissions (for 206 countries). These dynamic estimates cover all of the human induced CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production. The largest share of COVID-related decreases in emissions are due to decreases in industry (157.9 Mt CO2, -7.1% compared to 2019), followed by road transportation (145.7 Mt CO2, -8.3%), power generation (131.6 Mt CO2, -3.8%), residential (47.8 Mt CO2, -3.6%), fishing and maritime transport (35.5Mt CO2, -13.3%) and aviation (33.4 Mt CO2, -8.0%). Regionally, decreases in emissions from China were the largest and earliest (-10.3%), followed by Europe (EU-27 & UK) (-4.3%) and the U.S. (-4.2%). Relative decreases of regional CO2 emissions are consistent with regional nitrogen oxides concentrations observed by satellites and ground-based networks. Despite the unprecedented decreases in CO2 emissions and comparable decreases in economic activities, we monitored decreases in the carbon intensity (Emission per unit of GDP) in China (3.5%), the U.S. (4.5%) and Europe (5.4%) over the first quarter, suggesting that carbon-intensive activities have been disproportionally impacted.

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Mi Z, Wei Y-M, Wang B, Meng J, Liu Z, Shan Y, Liu J, Guan D. Socioeconomic impact assessment of China's CO 2 emissions peak prior to 2030. Journal of Cleaner Production [Internet]. 2017;142 :2227-2236. Publisher's Version socioeconomic_impact_assessment_of_chinas_co2_emissions_peak.pdf
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